October 2013


Introducing Michael Blackson…

The African King of Comedy to headline the 02 Arena in

London

 

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When you think of prominent black American comedians, Michael Blackson may not be a name that automatically comes to mind. However the self styled African King of Comedy!  has garnered the kind of respect amongst his peers which is often reserved for the likes of Chris Rock and Chris Tucker. In a slight Ghanaian accent Blackson uses his Ghanaian heritage and American life experiences in his stand up comedy routine to great effect.

Blackson developed his comedic talent in the unkind comedy clubs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania beginning in 1992. He has also performed in many well-known comedy competitions such as the 1992 USA Comedy Central Tour in Philadelphia, the 1993 Schlitz Malt Liquor Comedy Tour in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and the 1996 Urban Comedy Festival in New York City. From 1999-2000. Blackson also competed in the Laffapolooza Comedy Festival in Atlanta and the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition in Oakland, California in 2001.

He moved up the acting ladder with his most notable onscreen performance as “Angry African” in the 2000 comedy film Next Friday, produced by Ice Cube’s film production company Cubevision. In 2005 he released his top-selling comedy sketch CD entitled Modasucka: Welcome to America. Also in 2005, he made an appearance on, TV series 30 Rock, P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy on HBO, and starred in a commercial for the Chappelle Show on Comedy Central. In 2007, he was in the movie Repos with Master P (written and produced by Master P). In 2010, he appeared in B.o.B’s “I’ll Be in the Sky” music video. In 2011, he recently appeared on BET “The Mo’Nique Show” which his appearance had him trending on Twitter& also going on his third appearance on TBS Series Are We There Yet. In 2011, Michael recently starred on Starz’s Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment Stand-up which had 3 million views on Youtube and Showtime’s Shaquille O’Neal All Star Comedy Jam plus he is currently headlining Shaq All Star Comedy Jam Tour.

He has been called one of the most original stand-up comics in the USA, and his performances leave audiences laughing in tears. There’s no mistaking Blackson for any other comedian when he takes the stage. He is a must see!

Michael Blackson will be headlining the World Superstar’s of Comedy show on the 3 November 2013 at the Indigo 02 in London. Blackson will be representing the USA/Ghana and the night also features; Richard Blackwood (Jamaica), Slim (Jamaica), Will E Robo (USA), Eddie Cadi (Congo), Kojo (Ghana) and Curtis Walker (Jamaica)

To book tickets visithttp://www.theo2.co.uk/indigo2/view-event.html?eventId=8773

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

 

 

Message from the Editor: Calling all Bloggers

We Need You!

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At Me Firi Ghana we aim to be a hub of information for Ghanaian and wider community all around the world, It’s all about connecting the world with the beautiful country of Ghana. So whilst we want our blog to reflect this through relevant news and information we also give our bloggers freedom to post random thoughts to stimulate conversation about issues that affect us as a community.

Are you interested in writing, blogging or do you just have an opinion? If the answer is yes then why not get in contact about the joining the team.  You don’t not have to be from Ghanaian background, but we are looking for contributors who are passionate about Ghana and most importantly have something to say. If the answer to all these questions is YES!  and you are interested then drop me an email at –  bantwi@mefirighana.com

You’re email should include an example of your work, an interesting blog post, or just a few paragraphs about why you want to be involved and how you think you can make Ghana Relevant through your posts.

Together we can get the whole world talking about Ghana. Your blogging destiny awaits!

 

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@kwesitheauthor)

Ghana game with Egypt to take place in Cairo

Fifa rules Egypt can host Ghana play-off in Cairo

 

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Egypt will hold their 2014 World Cup play-off second leg against Ghana in Cairo after Fifa accepted their assurances over security.

Fifa said its decision was based on guarantees from the Egyptian government and the decision to allow Al Ahly to play a Champions League match in Cairo.

It also means football fans will be allowed into the Air Defence Stadium.

Ghana had twice asked football’s world governing body to switch the 19 November tie to a neutral venue.

Ghana lead the tie 6-1 after the first leg in Kumasi on 15 October.

 

Source: BBC Sport website

Prostitution a growing problem Ghana needs to control..

Children as young as 13 in danger of entering sex trade but

how can this practice be controlled?

 

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It is said to be the oldest profession in the world as it is as old as the hills.  The practice of selling one’s body for money by offering sex at a negotiated price.In Ghana a Prostitute is commonly know as an “Ashawo”   Prostitution comes in different guises.  There are men who live with women they picked from the streets and who have not been formally acknowledged as wives, because the man has not stood on ceremony with them.

In 2013 this old age practice is fast becoming the way of life for many young women in Accra and beyond. Shockingly it is being reported that girls as young as thirteen are involved in practice in rural areas where there is a lack of education in sexual health. These girl are at high risk of contracting sexual transmitted infections and are can be easily exploited by pimps. Many prostitutes in Ghana are forced into the practice or do it as means to an end. For example they may prostitute in order to earn enough money to help pay school fees of their younger sibling back home, or to send remittances to their aged parents or help renovate the living quarters of their parents.

Prostitution like in Ghana like many countries is illegal. It is a criminal act which attract criminal penalty as per the criminal books of the country. Prostitution is defined by section 279 Of the criminal code 1960 (Act 29) as amended by Act 554 (section 15) as  includes the offering by a person of his body commonly for acts of lewdness (Sex) payment although there is no act of ordinary sexual connexion section 276 of the code as amended by sect 14 of act 554, provides that  any person who persistently solicits or importunes in any public place or in sight of any public place for the purpose of prostitution shall be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding 500.000 and for a second or subsequent offences shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. Section 275 provides that any person who in any public place or in sight of any public place persistently solicits or importunes to obtain clients for any prostitute, or for any other immoral purpose shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. A high percentage are vulnerable to HIV.

A study conducted by the International Organisation for Migration and published earlier this year revealed that there are between 40,000 to 50,000 prostitutes in Ghana with 90% being the mobile kind, and 10% being sedentary or fixed in one place.

So what are the solutions and how can the practice be controlled before it spirals out of control? It is clear that the high unemployment rate in the country is a major factor that promotes this trade like in many other countries. It is not booming because young women delight in offering their bodies to all manner of clients without restraint. It is flourishing because they are so desperate and have no other option but to fall back on their natural assets to eke out their livelihood. Therefore these young girls need better access to education so they don’t drop out school and embark on a career in the sex trade. I also believe that the men who solicit these girls should be adequately punished by the law so as to act as a deterrent and reducing “business” for these girls. Human trafficking is also a problem that feeds into prostitution in Ghana it would be naïve to think that all the prostitutes in the country are Ghanaian. There will a large proportion of girls that have been trafficked into the country from other countries on the continent for the purpose of prostitution. Therefore the authorities need to ensure they crackdown on trafficking on all levels.

Prostitutes unsurprisingly are looked down upon with scorn in Ghana, yet they are part of society, and deserve our sympathies.  We need to show empathy towards them because in most cases, they are victims of severe and austere circumstances, and of course it takes two to tango.  We need to have social intervention to support and rehabilitate prostitutes in Ghana and not just isolate them from society.

 

Leave your comments below..

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana Black Stars in departure lounge for Brazil 2014…

Ghana hammer six past Egypt in Kumasi to all but guarantee their place at next years World Cup

 

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Two goals from Asamoah Gyan helped the black stars to a historic 6-1 victory over Egypt in Kumasi to have fans all but booking their tickets for Brazil. The drubbing was the first time Egypt had conceded six goals in a match in thirty to years. It was a game that Ghana needed to get a positive result to set them up for the second leg but even the most optimistic Ghanaian could not have predicted such a thrashing.

There had been tension during the build-up to the game because Ghana had written to Fifa asking for the 16 November second leg to be switched from the Egyptian capital Cairo because of safety fears. Thus Ghana wanted to get off to a good start and boy did they.Gyan had a clear chance to put the hosts ahead inside 20 seconds but he hit his shot straight at Egypt goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy from 12 yards out.

However Black Stars skipper had only a few minutes to dwell on his miss as Abdul Waris touched on Michael Essien’s pass and the former Sunderland striker turned with pace and struck a smart low shot into the far left bottom corner. A second goal looked inevitable and it came after Essien left two defenders on the floor during a mazy run and, just as the Chelsea man appeared to have tried too much, the ball ricocheted off Gomaa into the Egyptian skipper’s own net. At this point the Egyptians looked stunned and needed something and it did when they were awarded a penalty after a foul on Mohammed Slaeh by  Rashid Sumaila.  The experienced Aboutrika took the penalty and sent Ghanaian keeper Fatawu Dauda the wrong way to make it 2-1. However Waris restored Ghana’s two-goal advantage on 44 minutes, heading in Muntari’s
cross.

Eight minutes after the interval, things got even worse for Egypt when they failed to clear a corner and Muntari’s bicycle kick attempt bounced up nicely for Gyan to nod in Ghana’s fourth goal. Shortly after the speedy Waris burst through on goal and was upended in the penalty area by
keeper Ahmed Elshenawi, who had come on for the injured Ekramy. Sulley Muntari made no mistake from the resultant spot-kick. Egypt’s misery was complete when substitute Christian Atsu drove in a fizzing shot from the edge of the box to send the Kumasi crowd into more celebrations.

Make no mistake this was a momentous result against a good experienced side who were the only team on the continent to remain unbeaten in qualifying. The result will go some way in silencing coach Kwesi Appiah’s critics who believe he is not up to the job.

If or should I say when Ghana make it to Brazil they will be only the fourth African side to qualify for three consecutive World Cup finals.

In the Black Stars we trust

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Kevin Prince Boateng out of Egypt game

Is KPB’s absence really a blow to the Black Stars chances?

 

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As if concerns about the security of the Black Stars was not enough; In a further off field development it has been confirmed that  Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng will miss Tuesday’s World Cup play-off first leg against Egypt in Kumasi after suffering a knee injury. Boateng picked up the injury playing for German club Schalke during a Bundesliga match on Saturday. Tests in Germany have revealed that Boateng must undergo treatment on his left knee.

Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah has decided not to call up a replacement in his squad, which I think is the right call. Inevitably a lot may be made of this news and whether this makes the Black Stars all the more difficult against the Egyptians. However I think it is fair to say that it is business as usual.

Boateng is yet to play for Ghana since ending his international retirement after missing the  last qualifier against Zambia in Kumasi. Therefore Ghana are not missing anything they have not had for the past two and a half years. Albeit Boateng has been in good form for his new team Schalke after joining then from AC Milan last month Ghana have enough going forward to trouble the Egyptians. Indeed I would’ve have been more alarmed if it was Kwadwo Asamoah , Christian Atsu or Asamoah Gyan who have were the ones pulling out injured. All three have been regular contributors in the qualifying campaign and had Boateng been fit I don’t think he would have started anyway.

More of a concern for Ghana should be the injury to defender, John Boye who is a serious doubt for the game. Along with fellow defender Jonathan Mensah who has already been ruled out , the Black Stars are looking quite vulnerable at the back. Their absences could have a  big bearing on the game.

Of course an injury to a big name player like Kevin Prince Boateng is going to get the bigger headlines but I would make the case that Ghana’s defensive injuries are a bigger blow, lets hope not too much of a blow though.

In the Black Stars we trust!

 

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana Football Association want neutral venue…

Ghana ask for World Cup qualifier to be moved from Egypt

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The Ghana Football Association has asked Fifa to move the return leg of their 2014 World Cup play-off tie against Egypt to a neutral venue. With dozens of people killed over the weekend in the latest clashes in Cairo the GFA is concerned about security.

“We are seriously concerned about the security and safety of our delegation and spectators if the match is played in Egypt. Events in the country pointedly indicate that our delegation could be exposed to danger as the violence and insecurity in the country continues relentlessly,” reads the Ghana Football Association’s (GFA) letter to FIFA published on their official website.

Egypt have cancelled two successive premier league football seasons due to crowd violence and has been in turmoil since the army ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July this year following mass protests against his rule. The security situation became worse when more than 50 pro Morsi supporters died and hundreds were injured in clashes with security forces around Tahrir Square on Sunday. Spectators had been banned from football stadiums since February 2012 when more than 70 fans died in Port Said during clashes between rival supporters.

Thus the GFA eluded this point in their letter which continued to read; “The GFA is gravely concerned that for the past two years Egyptian authorities have only allowed football matches to be played without spectators yet Ghana has reportedly been asked to play Egypt in Cairo before fans,”.

The Egyptians have unsurprisingly rebutted these concerns. They insist there is no reason for the Ghanaian’s “trouble-making.” The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) spokesman Azmy Megahed said; “We are in communication with the governing body of football to explain the matter and Hani Abou-Rida (FIFA executive committee member) is currently making great efforts to solve the problem,”

EFA president Gamal Allam also added; “These claims are unfounded and we reject all demands to play the game outside Egypt. We are capable of securing any game, not just the Ghana one. Ahly and Zamalek have been playing their games in the African Champions League in Egypt without any problems”.

So naturally the Egyptians have come out fighting and the GFA are sympathetic to the political situation in the country but claim the security of their fans and players is paramount.

The match is due to be played on 19 November in Cairo but they may change as we await FIFA’s response. Do you think the GFA are right to have concerns submit this request ? or should they just accept that qualifier be played in Egypt and trust the authorities to guarantee the safety of the Ghana squad and supporters?

Lets get talking!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Should Ghana Be Preparing For A Terrorist Attack?

After Westgate Attack in Kenya should Ghana be fearing a similar attack?

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Its been almost two weeks since the tragic events at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Ghana of course lost one of it’s citizens in the form of the prominent poet and author Prof Kofi Awoonor. Since the attack on 21 September more and more information is emerging as to why Al-Shabab carried out the attack and perhaps if other African countries could be on the radar for Islamist terrorist groups.

Last week the British government updated it’s travel advice to its Citizens suggesting that there is a possibility of retaliatory attacks in Ghana from Islamist terrorists due to its participation in the intervention in Mali. Ghana had sent deployed 120 troops to Mali, to restore order to the area after militant groups fought government forces. So crucially where not involved in the conflict but were deployed more for peacekeeping purposes.

However the fact that Ghana intervened in some way however small could give terrorists all the ammunition they need to launch an attack. I would say this is unlikely but Africa is increasingly become the battle ground for which Islamist terrorists are playing out their jihad for political and religious reasons. Of course the attacks in Kenya was a retaliatory attack by Al-Shabab for Kenyan forces launching an offensive against them. However Ghana’s obligations to the African Union and ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) means the likelihood of their intervention to help stabilise other countries in the region who are threatened by terrorism is high. So Ghana could yet be deemed as a legitimate target for terrorists in the future.

Interestingly a leading security analyst from Ghana, Emmanuel Sowatey does not think the nation is adequately prepared for a terrorist attack. in the same ilk as the Westgate attack. He said; ” We are not prepared for that now. When you go to some shopping malls, for instance, you’ll see emergency exits but most of the time, it is  locked. The key is with somebody,” Sowatey thinks  it was time the government relooked at the country’s internal security since a country’s foreign policy had bearing on its internal security.

The Government of Ghana says its decision to maintain or withdraw Ghanaian troops from Mali will not be hinged on any possible consequential terrorist attack on the nation. Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Felix Kwakye Ofosu says Ghana is constantly on the alert to thwart any security threat from terrorist groups.

Although there is no specific intelligence that indicates an attack in Ghana is imminent. We should all be aware that there is an underlying threat from terrorism anywhere. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by expatriates and foreign travellers. So everyone should remain vigilant and keep the national security of in our prayers.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana Black Stars To Go With Experience

Veteran goalkeeper Kingson, Muntari and Jordan Ayew return to Ghana Squad for WC Play off with Egypt

 

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Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah has announced his 25-man squad to face Egypt in the sides’ 2014 World Cup qualifying play-off on 15 October

He sprung a major surprise by including veteran goalkeeper Richard Kingson in his squad.  Kingson, 35, returns after a two-year absence and is joined by Sulley Muntari, Jordan Ayew and Jerry Akaminko for the first-leg match. Kingson is a veteran of the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and brings with him a wealth of experience. It is obvious that Kwesi Appiah as opted for experience in the first match against a notoriously tough opponent.

It will be interesting to see if Kingson actually starts the game or if he is merely in the squad to pass on wisdom to Fatau Dauda and Adam Kwarasey. Either way I’m sure his inclusion will have it’s benefits on the squad as a whole. Sulley Muntari an equally experienced campaigner also returns to the squad after missing the final group game last month. Muntari’s inclusion will provide plenty of competition in Ghana’s midfield and it could prove a headache for Kwesi Appiah to select his best midfield combination. Though I’m sure it’s a headache he would rather have for a game of this magnitude.

The full squad for the match against Egypt is as follows;

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Adam Kwarasey (Stromgodset, Norway), Richard Kingson (Doxa Katokopias, Cyprus)

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), David Addy (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Baba Abdul Rahman (Greuther Furth Germany), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor, Turkey), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Mohammed Awal (Maritzburg United, South Africa)

Midfielders: Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Emmanuel Frimpong (Arsenal, England) Sulley Muntari (AC Milan, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Kevin Prince Boateng (Schalke, Germany), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough, England), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Christian Atsu (Vitesse Arnhem, Holland), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France)

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Abdul Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Jordan Ayew (Marseille, France), Mahatma Otoo (Sogndal, Norway).

No doubt this best squad available to Kwesi Appiah but will they do enough to give us the advantage in the first leg?

Lets get talking! In the Black Stars we trust!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)